It’s one of those days when I am clammed up in my shell, hiding from my own thoughts and feelings, unsure of what to feel and what to think.
After a tumultuous past few months and a fit of rage against my ex that seemed like it would have lasted forever, I have finally eased myself in to the phase of acceptance and understanding that after all, I was in love and I should take the experience for what it was – an experience.
I was never the kind of person to live life in the shadows or on the foothills of fear. I never understood people who always remained vigilant and careful and didn’t give themselves fully, until recently. Some things just completely instill the fear in you, and I suppose this time it was my turn. I finally understand why all those years I despised fear too much, because now I know that nothing can cripple you the way living in fear does.
Anxiety, especially that related to relationships and opening up your heart to trust someone – is all stemmed in fear. Fear of being hurt, being abandoned, not being reciprocated, of not being able to live up to expectations, etc. I have been actively working on this in therapy in the past few weeks and I have to say, it’s like climbing a mountain.
Fear has made me weak. Fear has robbed me of my strong persona. Fear has made me look towards everyone else but myself for direction in life. As the days pass I am learning to let go of fear, to cut the tentacles that fear grips me by, and I will say that yes, some days are better than others, I have made some amazing progress.
A few days ago I conquered my fear. I overcame the anxiety that has been sitting on my heart and I allowed myself a moment of vulnerability. I allowed myself a moment to speak what was in my heart with no filters. I allowed myself to be what my scared, old self would call “reckless”. I told someone I was in love. I lay there contemplating it for several minutes. It felt like an eternity in a repetitive cycle. The words would come to my mouth but I would swallow them back again and again, because fear was omnipresent in me. I did this several times until my true, genuine, pure emotions overcame the ghost of fear. I spoke the words within my heart, I let it out.
I felt something overwhelmingly in that moment and I said it, and it never felt better than to speak my truth with a clear conscience the way I always have. Am I in love? Perhaps I am, perhaps I am not. It is indeed a complicated situation, but that’s not something that matters. What matters is that I found myself with the courage to speak my heart as it felt in the moment. I found the courage and acceptance within me to embrace my inner self. I finally stopped shaming myself for what I felt and accepted me for me. I not only combatted my fear, I combatted my self loathing and claimed back a piece of myself.
Of course it helps that the person I said this to is a wonderful human being that I absolutely adore, and someone who understands the journey I’m on. It is so surprising to me how we embrace so many toxic emotions and attitudes just so we can avoid facing our fears. We embrace anger to express our hurt feelings because we are fearful of appearing weak. We embrace silence and lack of transparency with one another because we are fearful of being caught or looked down upon. We embrace narcissism because we are afraid of losing our pride. We embrace dishonesty because we are too afraid what the truth will make our loved ones feel. The root of all of life’s pain and suffering is FEAR.
I want to leave everyone with this wonderful Ted Talk that helped me jolt myself back in to accepting my vulnerability. If you are fearful and suffer from anxiety the way I do, and overcompensate your attitude with negative emotions and approaches, you will find this very helpful: